As One Giant Tiger Shark Is Caught, Another Hides Off The East Coast

The internet was abuzz as photos of a massive tiger shark caught off Australia surfaced today, but another large shark that made headlines earlier this year has gone missing, somewhere off the east coast of America.

The giant tiger shark was caught three weeks ago, as the Inquisitr previously reported, roughly 14 miles off the coast of Tweed Heads. Measuring an astonishing 18-feet-long, the tiger shark was reportedly landed by a local fisherman named Matthew, who hooked the massive animal after he witnessed it rising from the depths to devour a hammerhead shark he had been fighting. The shark was reportedly given to a local fish market, though the angler kept its jaws as a souvenir.

Astonishing in its size, the giant tiger shark is hardly the only member of its species to make headlines this year. In May, researchers tagged another tiger shark off the coast of Hilton Head island, notable for its size. As the State reports, the research team named the shark Chessie, noting that she was the largest member of her species ever tagged off the east coast of the United States.

For several weeks after the shark was documented, its receiver signaled from the area off Charleston. Chessie then set off along the shoreline, heading directly north, and closely approaching populated beaches at several points. For over a month, the tiger shark worked her way up the coast, until reaching the area south of Long Island.

As USA Today has recently reported, this region is thought to be a nursery for great white sharks, many of which congregate off the coast of Cape Cod each year. Chessie last signaled on July 5, and since then, her fin hasn’t broken the surface.

Despite speculation regarding her whereabouts, Chessie’s current location isn’t known. The tag affixed to her dorsal fin only signals when above water, however, meaning it isn’t uncommon for some of the sharks that are tracked by researchers to go missing for long periods of time. Others, like Katharine the great white, spend a great amount of time at or near the surface, giving scientists a much deeper insight into their lives.

As calls for a shark cull reach a fever pitch in Australia with the sighting of seven great whites and the capture of the giant tiger shark, Chessie remains in unknown waters, sure to surface soon somewhere off of America’s eastern seaboard.

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]